Thakurao Sagat Singh and Kunwar Saman Singh Entertained

Artist/maker unknown, Indian. Attributed to Pemji, Indian.

Made in Sawar, Rajasthan, India, Asia

c. 1790

Opaque watercolor, gold, and silver-colored paint on paper

Image: 8 1/4 × 15 inches (21 × 38.1 cm) Sheet: 10 × 15 1/8 inches (25.4 × 38.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Alvin O. Bellak Collection, 2004

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The artist Pemji is celebrated for his ability to create figures of great variety. In this lively painting of the Sawar ruler Sagat Singh and his son, prince Saman Singh, people with widely different dress, facial features, and actions are crowded together in a jovial jumble. Their assorted sizes indicate their relative importance at court; Sagat Singh is largest, his family and other noblemen are mid-sized, and the attendants and entertainers are smallest. Sagat Singh was not actually a king, but a thakurao, the ruler of a dependent state called a thikana. His high status is shown by the umbrella over his head, an ancient symbol of royalty in south Asia.